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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Samsung 512gig 850 PRO about to die it seems, very low erase cycles

Have a 4 year 8 month old SSD, PC its in is 24/7 on.

The type of workload on the PC for the SSD itself I do not consider unusual, basically it hosts OS files, but I have moved the documents, pictures, downloads folders onto a spindle.
Also temporary internet files (cache) are moved to ramdisk which would greatly reduce writes.
For most of this time windows search (indexing) has been disabled which reduces writes to index database (defaults to system drive).
I dont use hibernate.
Steam download cache folder is moved to a spindle.
Pagefile is enabled however.

There is also a games partition where I have about 300 gig of games installed, these are very light on writes tho, as the games dont often get refreshed at all.

This is important to explain so people can picture the load put on the SSD.

From what I can observe whenever I have monitored i/o activity there is a constant stream of small (probably 4k) writes to the ssd, usually with windows updating log files, and page file updates.

Also even tho temporary internet files have been moved, chrome is quite a write heavy browser, it has various internal databases that constantly get updated such as safebrowsing, history, autocomplete, session, and cookies. Observation again indicates mostly small but frequent i/o.

So when I post the stats here, the amount of data written shouldnt be too much of a surprise given the observations. This is with the steam download cache moved, and internet cache moved.

I do have 32 gig of ram, but windows memory management will start using the pagefile before been anywhere near close to 100% ram utilisation.

The internet cache before I moved it was generating about 2-5 gig a day in writes. It was moved when the SSD was about 2 months old.

So the usage data is.

20TB life time writes.
Just 28 erase cycles
99% estimated life left.
POH 2338 days
0 CRC, reallocated etc.

For comparison my oldest SSD which is currently in my laptop and was my main SSD before the 850 pro has these stats. This is a planar MLC 120 gig samsung 830 SSD. No symptoms of failure yet. Note the much higher erase cycles.

POH 2205 days
Erase cycles 438 (way more)
88% life left
9.11TB written
0 CRC etc.

Have a look at this site which explains about the system area of SSDs (this part of SSDs cannot perform wear levelling, its used for sector mapping and other tasks I believe this isnt accounted for in SMART data).


Scroll down to "Why SSD Drives Fail with no SMART Errors"

So the workload I have described kind of fits that case, constant small amounts of i/o rather than things like writing large iso files.

So what are the symptoms?

Well ironically the trigger event was windows search (indexing).

I have decided to use the file history feature to make backups of some files on my system, the way this works if it will by default backup library locations, so I did as documented added the folders I Wanted backed up to libraries, and selected a backup drive. There is one last requirement tho, and that is the locations have to be indexed, so windows search is a requirement. So of course I enabled windows search.

I was watching the i/o in task manager, and was lots of writes going to the 850 pro (with it been the system drive and default location for index is in programdata), and suddenly in task manager the drive went to 100% active state.

I watched and it stayed there for two minutes, I then tried to do things on the computer, as well as browse, chrome stopped responding as it was trying to update its databases, start menu didnt do anything and eventually nothing was working, I could move mouse pointer but thats it.

I hit the reset button on my PC and on post it waited for an eternity and eventually "no boot device found".

I went in the bios and every drive was present except the 850 pro.

Luckily on a power cycle the drive came back.

I have not had a hang in windows since, but doing a new system drive backup, reads were very slow. It was bottlenecking at about 30MB/sec. The spindle it was writing to was not breaking a sweat. If new data is written it can be read back quickly, but old stale data seems hard to read (remember that infamous 840 bug?).

Since the incident I have rebooted 3 times, 2 out of those 3 occasions I had no boot device found. Power cycle required to get it to boot.

Modern 3d nand drives most people claim these are going to last decades because of the claimed endurance ratings, but these drives have a weak point in the system area. However even with that in mind this is my first issue with a SSD I own.

I own 2 samsung 830s which both have had no issues.
This 850 pro which I think will die soon.
A few cheapo kingston small ssd's, they all planar MLC, not used 24/7, except one in my pfsense unit which is business grade mini sata.


I cannot do a online RMA with samsung, today is a public holiday in the UK, so probably wont be able to start the process until tuesday, I am hoping they have advanced RMA, as obviously with it been my system drive it makes things awkrawd.

Main PC
(12 items)
ASRock K6 Fatality Z370
Auros GTX 1080ti
Teamgroup 8 gig 3200 x 4
Hard Drive
Samsung 850 Pro
Hard Drive
Samsung 850 EVO
Hard Drive
WD 3TB RED x 4
Hard Drive
Power Supply
Antec HCG Gold 750 Watts
Fractal Design R4
Operating System
Windows 8.1 Pro
Benq GW3765HT
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Last edited by chrcoluk; 08-25-2019 at 11:03 PM.
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